Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Obama and Romney: Let the games begin

All is quiet it would appear in the political world – at least for the moment. Perhaps we’re treading water in the calm before the storm; but it seems the candidates and their high-profile surrogates are mostly on holiday or quietly going about the business of reinforcing their political foundations.

For months the Republicans spent their time ripping into one another, doing all sorts of harm to their cause and hopes of regaining the White House in November. Romney, the guy with the really nice hair, seems to have the Republican nomination sewed up, even though two other candidates have yet to call it quits.
A rich menagerie of bloviators, meanwhile, continues ranting about this and that, mostly thumbing their noses at both Romney and the President. But their rants seem to be on auto-pilot, just more of the drivel they’ve been spewing out across the cable landscape for months – Romney can’t attract the Conservative base and Obama is the devil; Romney is too rich and Obama is the devil; Romney needs to get in touch with his inner dude and Obama is the devil.
If you grow bored, all you need do is tweak the remote and you can find a whole new set of commentators – and I use that word oh-so-loosely. The game is the same but the venom is tossed about by a fresh and different cast of characters. Many on-air personalities doing the ranting are toady broadcasters who’ll do anything for a buck, others are political ideologues who are just plain nuts.
What I don’t understand is where do all the low-level surrogates come from and who decides that they’re qualified to speak for the candidates? Do they have to go to some sort of political indoctrination center for surrogates and do they carry sophisticated high-tech gizmos that provide them with special political powers of persuasion?
Given the insatiable appetite of 24-hour news channels, major networks, cable and web programs and podcasts, I get the need for warm bodies to defend and promote the party line. Out of such need comes much hackery, quackery – and big-league problems!
Recall what the veteran surrogate Hilary Rosen had to say about Ann Romney? If not, google Romney and “never worked a day in her life”. Then, just to be fair, search for Eric Fehrnstrom and Etch-A-Sketch. Rosen and Fehrnstrom are both still attempting to remove their feet from their mouths.
I’m guessing there will be more such gaffes along the trail once the presidential campaigns put the pedal to the metal. We can only hope! 

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